THE VOICE

A good number of women suffer terrible sexual violence that goes unreported. These women have no access to therapy or other methods of healing. Repeated abuse on these women ultimately eats away their self-esteem driving them into drug abuse, prostitution, sexually transmitted infections, and unintended pregnancies and at sometimes death. Below is a poem on a teenage woman who suffered sexual violence but later reported to the relevant authority and got help.

THE VOICE
It is now six years but your words still fresh in my mind
I love you from the waist downwards
I do not deal in damaged goods
I still remember that afternoon when I first set my eyes on you
Your words as a sharp knife slowly scraping deep across my skin
You kissed my lips and said you love me
It is now clear to me that I misunderstood you
I never knew love meant bruised knuckles, yelling and fighting at night
It all started as an innocent look, then an innocent touch
Mmmh an innocent kiss, some drama and finally an innocent heartbreak
I want to forget this but a voice keeps on reminding me.

Dear God does my life not matter to you?
Have you suddenly forgotten me?
Why do you leave me to wonder and wallow in despair?
I meditated barefooted in the middle of a dark thorny bush
You never valued my freedom
And I was foolish enough to let you destroy my queendom
I stood as a withered flower among scenic flowers
Because the wind bawled at me pulling my leaves and petals
But my charming abuser how dare you invade my queendom
The oblivion you caused me put my life into a pause
I want to forget this but a voice keeps on reminding me

At one point, I was strong
Strong with concrete humanized walls
A centerpiece to tourists of awe who could only see me
However, were never allowed to come close to me
Hey atrocious man, why did you pick me out of the many?
However, of cause who am I to question you
My juvenile mind never knew saying no was unimpeachable
I as a dumbas thick head accepted your tugs
Dear cold-blooded lover
Your whispers billowed out of your mouth like a snake
Each one striking at me leaving on me marks of blood
Yes, I never fought you back but now I advance into stardom
What you did to me deserve no title
I want to forget but a voice keeps on reminding me

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HEALTHY FOOD EQUALS HEALTHY YOU

NUTRITIONAL VALUE 

You don’t have to be rich to eat healthily.

Your health is gold. Preserve it.

Motherhood is an ‘unemployed occupation’ that when it comes knocking, one has to do her best to nurture her offspring(s) in a manner that will ensure that they grow morally upright, mentally and physically alright. Many a time, one needs an advice on how to hack motherhood, to have smooth pregnancies, successful deliveries that bear bouncy babies and all the little but important things that pushes them on. This is the reason why every Friday at KMET Corkran clinic, Tobias Oketch(Toto na Tobby) takes the initiative to give pieces of advice to mothers and pregnant women waiting for medical services.

His advice centers around the nutritional value of food for mothers and their children. He gives them tips on the benefits of consuming common and affordable food. For example, he pointed out some of the benefits of eating groundnuts and eating porridge which are boosting energy, improving the children’s and fetus’/babies’ growth and development, improving digestion, preventing heart disease and fighting fungal infections by boosting the immune system. He’s moved by the passion to help these mothers have an uncomplicated pregnancies and healthy children and one can ascertain this by the sharing in depth of his knowledge about nutritional value.

As it is KMET’s motto, “Huduma Poa“, be rest assured you will receive incomparable medical service, counsel, guidance and assistance because KMET believes that everyone is entitled to receiving quality health services.

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ABOUT KMET REUSABLE SANITARY TOWELS

Girls and women in resource-poor settings often lack access to sanitary pads, and the consequences they suffer as a result are sometimes unbearable, for example, majority of girls don’t attend to their lessons during this time of the month.DSCN9559
We’re often asked as an organization, “Why the idea of reusable sanitary pads? Is it really that significant a problem?” The answer is yes, because the vulnerable girls in the community we serve need it, to them sanitary pads are an exorbitant luxury hence most are forced to resort to unsanitary and sometimes unsafe measures to meet their needs. Our vision is to see in to it that this girls remain in class safe and healthy.
We all long for a future  where everybody has enough food, is in good health and can work, and can earn a living of not less than Ksh100 per day by 2030. But how to we achieve this Many, many kids around the world are out of school In fact, in developing regions, kids from the poorest households are four times more likely to be out of school than those of the riches house-holds and it became even more difficult for the girl child. They say if you have to leave a place the same way you found it, you’re not worth to be remembered.IMG_6606
KMET sisterhood for Change was started back in the year 2006, the programs targets young vulnerable girls in the slums of Obunga and Manyatta who dropped out of school fee due to poverty .The project empowers girls through vocational training in the areas of food and beverage, hairdressing and beauty and tailoring .The school has graduated close to 700 hundred girls who are now employment in saloons and hotels with Kisumu and majority opt for self-employment. The girls also produce reusable sanitary towels that are distributed to needy girls in and out of school
A number of schools within and outside have opt for the comfort reusable sanitary towels and the feedback has always been encouraging. The KMET comfort sanitary is affordable to every girl and will keep them in school for a period of one year before disposal.

BETTER SAFE THAN NEVER

DENTAL DAMS

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In this 21st century, everything has been made easier for us. Although no cure has been found for HIV/AIDS, at least there are some inventions that can minimize or even prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. One of these amazing inventions is the dental dam. I know you are cocking and scratching your head while wondering what dental dam is and what it’s all about. Hold your breath!

It’s a small, thin, square latex that comes in a variety of flavors. They are used for oral-vaginal sex and oral-anal sex to prevent the transmission of STDs like herpes, genital warts and HIV. The prevention of transmission of STDs during oral sex is effective since a dental dam acts as a barrier to vaginal and anal secretions that contain bacteria and viruses but it is only effective when used correctly and consistently. Step one is you have to rinse the powdery talc from the dental dam by patting dry with a towel or air drying. Then you place water based lubricant on the side that faces the genitals. This will act as a barrier on the genitals.

Remember, do not move the barrier back and forth between the vagina and anus because you’ll be increasing chances of infections by exposing yourself to the very fluids you are trying to avoid. The same applies to not using the same dental dam on different parts of the body because you can transfer bacteria that way. Don’t forget to throw away barrier after usage and do not share the dental dams or re-use them.

You can improvise by making it out of a condom, latex glove or non-microwavable saran wrap as illustrated. As for the condom, you just cut a rolled one to the center and open it up or simply cut off the tip and cut down one side. If your option is latex glove, just cut off the fingers’ part then cut down one side. If your choice is saran wrap, ensure you use a non-microwavable saran wrap because the pores in microwaveable saran wrap are large enough to allow viruses and bacteria to pass through.

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It’s essential to be safe so it’s advisable to visit a chemist or clinic and purchase. You are most welcomed to KMET clinic. For more information and free advice about anything regarding safe sex and family planning, visit KMET or/and call 0800 724 500.

IMPARTING THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH

THE POLICE FORCE’S ZEAL AND COMPETENCE

“Acquiring skills is better than getting a promotion and I’m glad for this sensitization workshop training because it will make us serve better.”- Regional Police Commander LEONARD KATANArpo

KMET has always aimed at promoting quality health and education services to the community and at every sunup and sun down, this objective is accomplished by a passionate and hardworking team. We all know that knowledge is power and educating the police on adolescent and their sexual rights is empowering an essential group that plays a major role in the community. I know when we hear of the police force, we always think of factual but funny memes and moments of a police with a distinct Kalenjin accent that somehow goes like, “Kijana! Utalala ndani.” This momentous notion is pushed aside since there is a KMET project which partnered with a network of organizations working on girl child programs including the police force in Kisumu, Siaya and Migori Counties. The program aims at bringing together girls, network members and other stakeholders to share, learn and develop programmatic guideline that strengthen the girls’ programs in the three counties which will impact skills, healthy attitude and behaviourial change through sharing experience and best practices.

It’s a fact that we are living in a generation where young people want to explore and have a taste of everything that is around them. This very same age cohort are adolescents who are sexually active and the consequence may end up being punitive to their lives thus the importance of sensitizing the police officers who as it’s known; play a critical role in tackling sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) reported cases. Under the law, they have a duty to assist victims to access justice and receive immediate medical attention. Most sexual violence cases are dismissed because the perpetrator silences the victims while some interfere with the evidence and the perpetrator end up being freed. Most victims are adolescent girls and boys of reproductive age who end up with unwanted pregnancies and infections.

This boils down to the question, “Have you ever visited a police station for help but changed your mind because of all the stories of arrogance and negligence or mere judgement that people tell you they’ve experienced at a police station?” Worry no more and don’t wallow in your pain when you can seek help from them because the ‘crooked police’ that smear the name of the service termed policing is being stripped away and replaced by ‘utumishi kwa wote’ in all sense of the statement or rather the motto governing the police service.

We are looking forward to a gender desk in the three counties where no abuse case to adolescent girl would go unreported due to negligence of a police officer to take up the responsibility of going deep to solve particular case. Majority of termed perpetrators are all enlightened on whatever implication the law may have on them.

 

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Bring quality back to public health facilities

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KMET CEO Monica Oguttu (centre) presenting the safe care approach in Kisumu county. To the left is the Minister for health Mrs Ogaja

Public hospitals are always characterized with long queues and grumpy clients with some people even viewing it as a place for only the poor in the society.

 
It is worse when even the very health providers within the public sector prefer to seek for medical care in private facilities. What went wrong in the public health facilities?

 
According to KMET CEO Monica Oguttu, reinstating quality is all that is needed to bring back the good name and trust in public facilities.

 

“Quality is a software that is very important in service delivery but very neglected and never budgeted for” said Monica.

 
Due to the grave emerging issues in the public health sector as a result of no quality in service delivery, KMET’s safe care initiative to the counties couldn’t be so timely.

 

KMET has been focusing on quality and health financing issues but in the private sector. However, the glaring need in the public facilities cannot be overlooked.

 
KMET is therefore currently engaging Kisumu, Siaya, Trans Nzoia and Kakamega counties as a pilot to adopt the safe care model to improve quality in service delivery.

 
For instance Siaya County has already agreed to start with the county referral hospital before scaling up to six other facilities that were selected for the pilot phase.

 
Kisumu County on the other hand is in the process of forming a quality improvement team which will oversee the implementation of quality standards in the selected pilot facilities.

 

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During a meeting to discuss the way forward in terms of quality in Kisumu County, the health Minister Mrs. Ogaja ackno

wledged the need to address quality issues in public facilities within

the county.
She complemented the timely venture of KMET and noted that quality improvement actually starts with the management. She also promised her support hoping that Kisumu gets to embrace a culture of quality in service provision.

 
The journey to bring quality back to public health facilities has already began within the four counties. With the support of policy makers and health stake holders, the light at the end of the tunnel looks so bright.

By Lynette Ouma